This past weekend, my son was invited to an end-of-year celebration for his elementary school drama club. The invitation encouraged students to dress up. As a new member of the club this year, my son arrived in spiffy dress pants and a yellow polo shirt, only to find a throng of girls in fancy gowns and boys with sports jackets and bow ties. They were awaiting to walk the red carpet! Even elementary school kids know the red carpet is something special.
For me, our special season at CSU, Bakersfield begins with my red regalia. Donning the PhD robe to induct students into Alpha Chi, a national honors society, and to recognize our two-year and four-year Helen Hawk Honors Program graduates, is the first of many recognition ceremonies in the last month of the academic year.
We are particularly proud of the amazing students celebrated this year at the School of Arts and Humanities Honors Convocation.
Outstanding Visual Arts Project
Joyce Kohl, Nominating Faculty
Outstanding Performing Arts Project
Soo-Yeon Park, Nominating Faculty
Outstanding Humanities Paper
Doug Dodd, Nominating Faculty
Departmental Outstanding MA Graduates
Kim Kartinen History
Mario Nunez Spanish
Departmental Outstanding BA Graduates
Julissa Cardenas Art & Art History
Maria Rodriguez Ornelas Communications
Heather Simmons English
Daniel Kirk History
Jennifer Valencia Interdisciplinary Studies
Maria Rodriguez Ornelas Modern Languages & Literatures
Courtney Sangis Music
Scott Gregory Heilman Philosophy
Sharon Whealy Religious Studies
Anthony Salvador Jauregui IV Theatre
Outstanding BA Graduate of the School of Arts and Humanities
Maria Rodriguez Ornelas
Additional commencement-season (regalia season!) events include Roadrunner Society, Antelope Valley Grad Reception, Lavender Celebration, Black Student Recognition, M.E.Ch.A Chicano Reception, and (the grand finale!) Graduate Hooding and Undergraduate Commencement. Each ceremony marks a moment of celebration, recognition, and transition. There is plenty to celebrate. The successful conclusion of years of dedication to mastering foundational skills, course content, ways of knowing, and habits of being, have equipped graduates for the next stage in their life journey.
I’d like to conclude this post with a few words directly to our soon-to-be graduates. First, I hope you take the time to celebrate your accomplishments with friends and family. Our record number of RSVPs for commencement suggest many of you are willing and ready to rejoice! Second, although we are all here to celebrate you, I hope you recognize that you have not achieved this milestone on your own. Friends, family, faculty, and staff have all labored to create these opportunities for your success. I encourage you to express gratitude to all those who have accompanied you on your educational journey. Finally, all these ceremonies mark a moment of transition. You are on the precipice of one phase in your life about to launch into another. It may be exciting or exhilarating. It may be anxiety-producing or terrifying. It may be something in-between. Whatever this moment is for you, it will only happen once. I invite you to pause, breathe, and wear your regalia with attention to all that your special day brings.
Congratulations and Best Wishes,
Interim Dean, School of Arts and Humanities